10 Tips for Effective Social Media Marketing
According to Hootsuite, there are now over 3 billion people on social media, with 11 new people joining every second. And with the average American spending just over 2 hours on social media daily, it’s safe to say that social media is a big opportunity to reach your target audience, no matter who they are.
Even with the growing opportunities on social, starting to create social profiles for your business can be daunting. Here are some tips on how to get started and effectively create social content for your business.
1. Create a social media plan
Before you start pouring your time and budget into social media, start by listing the objectives of your social posts. Most of the time, they will align with your larger business goals.
Now, based on your business goals, create your content strategy—what sorts of content will you post, and how often? Decide how you can you best reach your audience, and convert on the goals you’ve set, starting with…
2. Focus on specific platforms
To start, choose just one or two social media networks to focus on. The reason for this is simple—different people tend to use social media in different ways. Depending on your brand and your goals, you’ll want to choose the networks that have the audience you’re looking for.
To narrow down your list, the top social media sites in terms of monthly active users include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Do some research on your customer base and see which of these platforms they’re most likely to engage with.
After you decide on your networks, craft content that will resonate on that feed. Do research to see how others communicate on that channel, and try to create similar types of posts.
3. Use a social media content calendar
Keep your content and posts organized with a social media content calendar. This will help you organize your thoughts and post about the themes that are important to your customers. It will also encourage you to post consistently, which is key to gaining traction on social media.
Creating a content calendar will also help you have content ready to post on important dates like holidays or social media “holidays,” and balance your content so you’re not focusing too much on one platform or topic.
4. Get inspired by other brands
Use the social media posts of competitors as inspiration when you’re crafting your content. What sorts of posts seemed to resonate and make people comment, like or share? Did you see a fun example of how a brand interacted with their customers by replying to a Twitter post, or by running a contest on Instagram? Use established brands to inspire new and innovative social posts for your business.
5. Stay on brand
As you start to actually create social media content, make sure that the posts reflect you, your brand or your business. Whether it be through tone of voice, style of photography or even the topics that you cover, give your social media posts the same awesome personality of your business. This will help engage your target audience and will help carry brand awareness to channels outside of social.
6. Foster community
One of the coolest parts of social media is the opportunity to create a community and foster direct dialogue with customers on a daily basis. If you listen to your customers, you’ll not only be able to create more effective social content, but you may even get new ideas for marketing your business or improving your product that will help your business thrive. So take the time to read comments on your social posts and respond to them.
7. Utilize visuals, photography and video
People consume social media by scrolling, and images and video are more likely to catch their eye than a written post. Use the social space to share beautiful images of your products, or find a way to showcase your service through imagery with bold text written over the top.
High-quality imagery and videos will help users associate positive feelings about your brand. If you’re looking for photos to use on your social media channels, check out these Free or Cheap Stock Photo Resources.
8. Boost posts wisely
To make sure you’re not spending your social media budget aimlessly, start by posting organically and seeing what resonates before you put money behind a post. This way, you’ll promote posts that seem to resonate or are getting engagement, which you can then target to a specific audience that you want to reach. For instance, you can choose to target people in the age range of your current customers, or users who have shown interest in your competitors. There are many ways to target highly specific demographics on social media, but start by creating content and learning what works before you start spending your budget.
9. Be patient and don’t give up
Give yourself some time to establish your social tone of voice, cadence, and rhythm. Your social customer base may take time to grow. According to the social media management company Buffer, “it takes eight months to one year to really get the hang of social. Not only to get a consistent content stream going, but to figure out what your audience resonates with and what they don’t.”
Start small and try to spend some time every day on social media to learn the ropes. Stick to your content calendar and don’t get discouraged if engagement is slow at first. Keep fostering your community and providing great content and you’ll see where your social media can take you.
10. Know when to outsource
When you’re running a business, you’ve got a lot to think about on a daily basis, and sometimes you just won’t have the bandwidth to run a successful social media program. If you really want to succeed at social but don’t have the time to learn the skills associated with planning, creating content and engaging with the social community, consider hiring an outside company or individual to handle your social marketing.
That way, you can focus your main efforts on the business itself, but be confident that your social channels will be optimized. You can even find social media experts right here on tispr.